We appreciate the opportunity to shed lighton the on going crisis surrounding the health professionals’ general strike in Mozambique. This position paper aims to underscore the gravity of the situation and advocate for urgent action to resolve it.

The reports that the Citizen Observatory for Health (OCS) has received paint a disturbing picture of harassment and intimidation targeting the courageous health professionals who have opted to participate in the strike. Furthermore, widespread complaints and accounts reveal a healthcare system operating well below its capacity, failing to deliver even the most fundamental services. In many health units, only managerial staff are on duty, leaving critical positions vacant and compromising patient care.

Regrettably, the Ministry of Health has thus far chosen to downplay the impact of the strike, dismissing it as inconsequential. Such a stance is not only irresponsible but also perilous. It entails deploying inadequately trained and supervised personnel, including trainees and students from nursing or medical courses, to plug the widening gaps in public hospitals.

It is imperative to acknowledge that this strike encompasses all health professionals, from doctors to support staff suchas drivers, custodians, administrative personnel, and security guards. As a result, the present circumstances render it impossible for the public health system to deliver even the most basic services.

We call upon the Minister of Health to reassess his strategy and accord priority to negotiation. It is imperative that the government’s representatives at the negotiation table adopt an objective stance regarding the terms of reference. Presently, the lack of seriousness exhibited by these representatives undermines trust and jeopardizes thelegitimacy of any concessions made during negotiations. This state of affairs demands immediate rectification to instill confidence in the negotiation process and pave the way for a sustainable resolution.

We adress our gratitude for your attentionto these pressing matters.

Sincerely,

Citizens Observatory for Health

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